Cool TomatoesTomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! At Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, we are dreaming of bright red-orange, ripe tomatoes (and also dreaming of sliced tomato and mayo sandwiches, if truth be told).

“We love to sell all of our produce, but tomatoes are our top seller each year,” says Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry. He admits that he has been accused of being a “tomato addict.” Most recently, he has had staff on the lookout for a good salsa recipe to serve in the center cafeteria. Part of that request is due to his tomato cravings, while part comes from his love of efficiency.

“We try and use all over-ripened tomatoes and other vegetables in our kitchen,” Stuart explains. “But I think our discard rate is going down, with produce rotation and cooler locations.” In the market, peer volunteers rotate the abundance of summer tomatoes to check for freshness. Some of the produce is stored in a large refrigerator or on racks in an air-conditioned room adjacent to the market.

In the photo above, peer leader Kaylon Holt and Stuart Perry check racks of tomatoes in a chilled room adjacent to the market.  


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